Saturday, 31 May 2014

WPF XAML, Loose XAML and BAML Files: Approaches to create WPF applications with XAML

WPF XAML, Loose XAML and BAML Files: Approaches to create WPF applications with XAML

There are four approaches to create WPF application with XAML. You can use XAML directly to in WPF application or can convert XAML into the BAML for improving its performance or you can use loose XAML or do not use XAML at all. Lets try to understand these approaches of creating WPF applications with XAML.

Code and compiled markup(BAML): This is the preferred approach for WPF applications. This approach is used by Visual Studio. You can create XAML template for each window, and this XAML is compiled into BAML and embedded in a final assembly. At runtime, the compiled BAML is extracted and is used to generate the user interface.

Code and uncompiled markup(XAML): You can use this approach when you are creating highly dynamic user interface. In this approach, you load the user interface from a XAML file at runtime using the XamlReader class from the System.Windows.Markup namespace.

Code only: This is the traditional approach used in Visual Studio for Windows Forms application. It generates the user interface through the code statements.

XAML only (Loose XAML): Loose XAML is the file which only contains XAML code without any .NET namespaces, classes, properties, event handlers etc. Loose XAML can be used to stand alone user interface which includes WPF declarative features like animations, triggers, data binding, and links (which can point to other loose XAML files). You can compare loose XAML files with static HTML files. You can open loose XAML files in the Internet Explorer. 

Following points should be considered while creating a loose XAML file:

A) Remove the Class attribute on the root element.
B) Remove any attribute that attach event handlers.
C) Change the name of the opening and closing tag from Window to Page. Internet Explorer can show only hosted pages, not stand-alone windows. 

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